The nature of the horse never ceases to amaze me, as well as show me a healthy perspective on life and faith. Some moments are small, but some are so big I feel the need to share them.
We recently acquired a new mare. I’ve had my eye on her for quite some time, and somehow the stars aligned to allow us to bring her home. It’s been great fun to jump on her and enjoy the ride. She quickly showed me the way to my first belt buckle. Remember how the stars aligned somehow? Wow. Anyway, the road to getting to know her has been interesting.
From a distance she looks so confident, and to ride her she seems confident if you don’t pay close attention. So, this also makes sense that when you put her in the same pen with another horse she proceeds to “protect her space” in a big way. I took her just as seriously as the other horse did and gave her her own space to live in. That was safest, clearly.
Recently I noticed a certain point within our ride that panic sets in for her. She shows it by simply making an odd mistake that I thought was caused by my own error. A talk with my horse training friend was a good reminder that she has a trust issue at this moment in her life.
The other day I noticed a shift in her behavior with the other horses. Instead of immediately looking for conflict, she’s fitting in better. She’s sharing feed and showing respect. At first it seemed like she had been shown her place within the herd, and was being forced to respect that fact. But the analyzer in me thinks she is finally relaxing. She’s less defensive.
So…what’s so amazing about yet another random horse story from Kendra???
Are you or someone you interact with defensive? Are you worrying? How are other people responding to you? Are you “protecting your space” so much that no one can get remotely close to you?
Sometimes we don’t make sense. Our internal hurts and struggles can show up in ways that reflect a different story, and make people uncomfortable. Sharp words, rude tone of voice, lack of communication etc. can all be misinterpreted.
This mare could have been perceived as a raging rip, but what she really needed was patience and compassion. It’s stressful adjusting to a new setting. Maybe she’s used to being alone and doesn’t know how to live harmoniously within a herd. This can be true for people too.
As crazy as it sounds sometimes when we’re struggling we can’t even track our own behavior back to the real root. In my experience it helps to journal, confide in a friend, pray, interact with a horse, or seek out a mentor or counselor. God will allow the right people (or horses) to show up at the right time.
Prioritize awareness, and your life transitions will be smoother.
A Lead Mare